Guest Commentator: Jaclyn McAdams Sosa, Program Manager, Finance Internship and Accounting Associates Programs, Comcast

How has serving as Board Chair of the Young Professionals Council impacted your personal and professional development?

My journey with the Young Professionals Council (YPC) isn’t your “typical” story. At this time, I was in a role where I was working very closely with the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. It was a typical check-in with my manager where we talked through our to-do list and everything that needed to be completed that week. The topic of the Young Professionals Council was on that list. At first, I thought nothing of it besides getting involved wherever I could; my manager had other plans. Little did I know, this very meeting would guide the course of my professional career for the next six years and change me in all the right ways. This was when my manager “volun-told” me to join YPC. This was single-handedly the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I was already very interested, loved the events I had attended, and knew it was a great organization. However, the lessons I learned during my time as a Board Member, Vice-Chair, and then Chair will stay with me throughout the rest of my life.

From the start, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and join the Professional Development Committee. Event Planning was a part of my everyday world and I knew that the Events Committee would have been the easy way to get involved. Little did I know, joining the Professional Development Committee would lead me down a path in talent development. I had no idea I would have such a passion and interest and, again, that one little decision could send me down a road I wouldn’t have otherwise traveled.

Fast forward to my final two years on the Young Professionals Council Board where I have had the privilege to be chosen by my peers as Vice-Chair and then Chair of the Young Professionals Council. To say this was a surprise and honor would be an understatement. The past two years of my professional and personal life have been monumental. I’ve learned that a mentor isn’t always someone that is more experienced than you and can in fact be someone several years younger. I’ve learned that my ideas, both big and small, can make an impact beyond my comprehension. I’ve learned that being a “leader’ doesn’t mean having the strongest voice in a room, but more importantly, the patience and motivation to encourage creativity in an open space for others to thrive and grow.

Each year, YPC innovates their programming and relationships with the Greater Philadelphia business community and creates an even stronger brand for its membership. To say I have been a part of this is a pretty amazing feeling … it doesn’t hurt that I’ve made life-long friendships!